New Recruits

BY Thomas QuinlanPublished Dec 1, 2004

It appears Haligonian rapper Josh Martinez is on the verge of success, both as an artist and as head of his own label, CamoBear Records. Now with major distribution thanks to Maplenationwide and Universal, Josh has put together a compilation album to exhibit the roster at CamoBear. New Recruits is heavy on the J-Mart, with a couple of solo tracks, two collaborations with Sleep (as Chicharones — watch for their debut), one with live bass and drums (as the Pissed Off Wild), and a massive posse cut featuring Bishop I, Awol One, Kunga 219 and Sleep. And though he doesn’t contribute filler, it’s the sarcastic "Outlaws” that is pure (gun)fire. Sleep’s "Say Goodbye” featuring Zelly Rock is a nice smooth vibe, and Kunga 219 and the criminally-unused Unleavened wonder about the wonder of birth on another smooth groover on "Groundskeepers.” But, it’s the Goods track that really highlights Kunga 219 and the work of his production partner Gordski. "The Eff” is a thumping hip-hop track that lends credence to the great reviews received for the Goods’ 4/Four album. Awol One teams with Moves for "Shakeyer Eyewind,” another quirky collaboration that isn’t an album highlight but is definitely a nice addition. Alongside "Outlaws,” Birdapres’ "None Missing” is the best track. Stace Prints delivers a banging beat for Bird’s straight-forward lyrical observations. And then there’s a bunch of similar-sounding instrumentals that would have been best limited in number, or used as shorter interludes to create a more cohesive mix. If New Recruits is any indication, CamoBear has some great products coming down the pipe.

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